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A Deaf Child's Struggle, A Taste For Simple Things

"It’s just that all the hardships he has faced have made him more appreciative of the simple things — he’s happier than us."

A Deaf Child's Struggle, A Taste For Simple Things
Mariateresa Fichele

When Pasquale was told that his newborn son was deaf, his world fell apart.

He held that long-awaited and longed-for baby in his arms and cried, not even daring to look him in the eye.

He could not feel joy, but only anxiety at the thought of how difficult life was going to be for his child.

Why couldn't Niccolò be like everyone else? How was Pasquale going to instill confidence and courage in his boy if he himself, the father, could only see a future fraught with trouble and obstacles?

Pasquale and I spent a lot of time talking about his son: the considerable difficulties of the early years, but also those small but monumental achievements, the cochlear implant, rehabilitation, school.

Then the other day, Pasquale tells me that Niccolò had danced a few steps to the rhythm of music.

"I am so proud of my son."

"Yes, Pasquale, Niccolò is quite an extraordinary child."

"No Dottoré. My son is not extraordinary. It’s just that all the hardships he has faced have made him more appreciative of the simple things — he’s happier than us.

He is like men in primitive times. They would wake up in the morning, already knowing they would have to struggle to eat and survive. But if in the evening they had found themselves at home with a steak served on a plate with forks, they would have thrown it all out, except for the meat. Yes, you can be sure that they would have kept the meat and eaten it — but they would have used their hands, Dottoré, and enjoyed it much more than we ever could."

Learn more about Worldcrunch's exclusive Dottoré! series here.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

The Russian Orthodox Church Has A Kremlin Spy Network — And Now It's Spreading Abroad

The Russian Orthodox Church has long supported Russia’s ongoing war effort in Ukraine. Now, clergy members in other countries are suspected of collaborating with and recruiting for Russian security forces.

Photo of Russian soldiers during mass at an Orthodox church in Moscow.

Russian soldiers during mass at an Orthodox church in Moscow.

Wiktoria Bielaszyn

WARSAW — Several countries have accused members of the Russian Orthodox clergy of collaborating with Russian security services, pushing Kremlin policy inside the church and even recruiting spies from within.

On Sept. 21, Bulgaria deported Russian Archimandrite Vassian, guardian of the Orthodox parish in Sofia, along with two Belarusian priests. In a press release, the Bulgarian national security agency says that clergy were deported because they posed a threat to national security. "The measures were taken due to their actions against the security and interests of the Republic of Bulgaria," Bulgarian authorities wrote in a statement, according to Radio Svoboda.

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These reports were also confirmed by Russia's ambassador to Bulgaria, Eleonora Mitrofanova, who told Russian state news agency TASS that the priests must leave Bulgaria within 24 hours. “After being declared persona non grata, Wassian and the other two clerics were taken home under police supervision to pack up their belongings. Then they will be taken to the border with Serbia" she said.

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